Catholic Action Center in Lexington turning to solar energy

06/29/2017 06:34 PM

LEXINGTON — The Catholic Action Center in Lexington has become one of the first homeless shelters to turn to renewable energy and the first to do so without government aid.

The project, announced during a news conference on a sunny Thursday, represents a joint effort between the center, Edelen Strategic Ventures and Synergy Home, a Lexington-based energy company.

They’ve installed 86 panels at the Catholic Action Center so far, with a final tally of 100 planned.

Former State Auditor Adam Edelen, founder of Edelen Strategic Ventures, said he was pleased to see the project come together.

“An innovative partnership of Kentuckians is going to result in the Catholic Action Center here in Lexington becoming among the first in the country, the first homeless shelters to go to solar power, and the first to do so without a public subsidy, and I think the fact that you’ve got grassroots community organizations that are adopting the promise of renewable energy clearly communicates that this is not just the future,” Edelen said in an interview before the press conference. “It’s the present.”

Edelen said the center will see significant savings from its adoption of solar energy, which should cover installation costs within five years.

The project cost about $75,000, and Edelen, who offered his help for free, said Synergy Home “dramatically reduced” its installation fee.

He said he believes the financial savings realized by the homeless shelter “will create a path that many more” will follow.

“And I think it’ll happen very soon,” he said.

Ginny Ramsey, co-founder and director of the Catholic Action Center, said moving to solar energy meets the center’s mission.

While she expects a smaller carbon footprint as well as lower energy bills at the facility that CAC moved into in April, Ramsey urged donors to keep contributing.

“We’re proud and pleased to be able to live out that call in one other way and also to save a ton of money, you all,” Ramsey said. “So those of you who write checks, keep writing ‘em, but know that they’re being subsidized by the good Lord and his sun.”

Today’s announcement comes about two months after Edelen and Berkeley Energy Group announced plans for a 10,000-panel solar farm on a reclaimed strip mine site in Pike County.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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